## Monday, May 5, 2008

### Problem Solving Skills

We play this little game in which I hold three golf balls in my right hand and three golf balls in my left hand. Marin takes one hand and Emmy takes the other. Whoever can pry all three golf balls from my grip first wins. It's a great game because I can just lie on the floor on my back and get a rest while totally entertaining the kids. Talk about win/win.

The point of this story is how creative Emmy became after realizing there is no way she will win the game on strength. One night she turned my hand so it was palm up. Using both her hands, she peeled back my thumb and stood on it with one foot. Then, using both her hands again, she peeled back my pinkie and ring fingers and stood on them with her other foot. Then she used her hands to peel back and pin my remaining to fingers. Now all the balls were exposed, but she had no hands with which to pick them up. Emmy tried blowing on the balls to move them, then she tried rocking my hand without losing her grip. Finally, she turned to Marin and asked "Marin, will you please pick these balls up for me?" When Marin said "No", Emmy tried to get the cat to roll the balls off my hand. I gave her the win for ingenuity.

Next night, I changed my grip so Emmy's foot trick would not work. She took my hand, turning it and exploring it every which way like it was a Rubik's cube. Then she grabbed my wrist with both hands, looked at me sweetly, and bashed the back of my hand with all her strength against the edge of a table leg . Of course the golf balls went flying as I screamed in pain and surprise. Emmy, totally ignoring me, turned to Marin and said, matter of factly, "I beat you again."